An official in the General Directorate of Traffic has denied rumours that traffic units nationwide have resumed new vehicle licensing. The source confirmed the directorate’s commitment to implementing the state’s precautionary measures due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) and extending the suspension period for issuing licences until 23 April.
The source rejected car companies’ proposal to apply for licences on behalf of distributors and customers. He described it as ineffective, as it would not make any difference because cars would still be required to go through technical checks, which would result in people gathering.
The source noted that the financial losses coming from the suspension of licences are jointly shouldered by companies and the state. They added that the best and only alternative for resuming business and keep sales moving is to use temporary commercial plates available at car dealerships.
The source explained that car dealers stopped providing temporary commercial plates due to their high insurance fees which forced some car dealers to have only a few plates.
He denied any obstacles to the movement of passenger cars in streets using temporary commercial plates, saying that this situation happened before when factories producing plates were closed for eight months and car dealers provided plates for up to EGP 300 per day.
He stressed the importance of automating traffic services in line with the government’s digital transformation plan, especially after the demands of the Ministry of Planning to expedite the digitisation of all government services in preparation for facing the current emergency and to avoid the disruption of public interests.
He pointed out that required technical checks for car licensing represents an impediment to the traffic department’s automation. He suggested that the private sector can take over the technical examination at petrol stations, as is common worldwide.
The official added that going digital would help prevent overcrowding at traffic units, as the consumer would not need to go to traffic units except when receiving the plate at the end of the process.
He went on to highlight the obstacles to automation, saying that traffic units do not have a proper digital system (a mobile app) that allows for external party data and information to be received. This solution is not easily accessible as the traffic directorate fear for customer data confidentiality.
The source pointed out that the traffic system’s electronic switch-over requires proper implementation as part of an integrated infrastructure. This would require that the correct and complete data on the number of existing cars in the country would be available, stressing the need for cooperation with the real estate notary offices.